Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

125. Not the Pilot


NOT the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though beaten back, and many times baffled; 
Not the path-finder, penetrating inland, weary and long, 
By deserts parch’d, snows-chill’d, rivers wet, perseveres till he reaches his destination, 
More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose a free march for These States, 
To be exhilarating music to them—a battle-call, rousing to arms, if need be—years, centuries hence.         5


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